Wild Indoors

July 13th, 2008 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Weasels are less cute on their backs with a tire tread pressing them to the asphalt than whizzing through the brush. I biked around a flat one on Neponset Valley Parkway this morning.

Back home in the wilds of JP, we have outdoors in or nearly so frequently. Today it was spiders and birds. Our yard frequently gets skunks, opossums, raccoons and other furries. I wish the squirrels and crows would have their own Ragnarök, leaving us beset by just one devilish species.

Pic Trick: Click on small images to see larger versions.

Today, it was eight legs and two legs though. For the latter, our adopted always-a-housecat Chi wants birds. She has never eaten one or even gotten one in paw and claw. Yet, she’s ready.

Chi huntingOur window with the bird feeder outside is kind of her television. Perhaps a peep show booth would be more accurate. In cold weather, she watches the birds — one to six at a time on the feeder and sometimes dozen in the rhodies below — through a glass storm window. Most of year, she is tantalizing inches away, separated by a screen.

It didn’t take the birds long to realize she was no threat because of the barriers. We get lots of bite-sized visitors, wrens, sparrows, tits, chickadees and such. The feeder does not let big birds or squirrels get to the seed, but a few colorful types, like cardinals and migrating fancies, such as red-wing blackbirds and orioles drop in for a meal.

birds feedingIn general, Chi is sensible. She’ll rest her chin on the sill as in this accompanying image, looking through the gauzy screen view of the feeder. She’s not cool though. Her ears and back twitch in excitement. Sometimes, she makes guttural hunting noises reserved to the locale.

Alas she can’t fully accept the feeder as entertainment. A few times a month, she leaps and lunges. In the winter, it must be a shock, slamming forehead first into the storm window in full flight herself. Then the birds leave, to return within a minutes. I am convinced cats know no humiliation.

kitchen spiderIf it’s the screen, she generally ends up plucking her claws out of the mesh and goes back to her post. Once or twice a month though, she blows it. In her blood lust, she’ll spring with fully open claws, getting one or both front paws caught. The inner and next claw of a paw will simultaneously catch on the screen and Chi is stuck. She doesn’t have the geometric savvy to open her paw more and push up to release the paw(s), even after watching with great concern as I undo her.

crab-like spiderA room away, we seldom get insect or arachnid beasties. However, a crab-like spider (see bottom pic) apparently wanted to lay claim to our new electric skillet. We’re about to get new cabinets, which means a month or so with no access to our stove or the rest of the kitchen. The skillet is part of our minimalist cuisine for that period. I’m aiming to use cold foods, and cook with the grill, microwave and toaster.

Is there a new-skillet smell? What attracted a good sized spider?

My uxorial unit is no fonder of spiders than mice. Fortunately, as with our recent rodent episode, she was not the one to discover the critter.

The spider had managed to hang its web over great distances from each breakfast-nook wall to the handle of the skillet lid and to the other wall. Unfortunately, we had plans for the spaces and removed the old web artist to the outside.

Weasel, birds, cat and spider…what shall the morrow deliver?


One Response

  1. Uxorial Unit says:

    Nice nature writing. Now featuring: Boston Geographic!

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